Sometimes you forget what you know, or it takes a while to remember that the situation you are facing is one that you have faced before.
Jeremy’s father does not use his legal surname. He hasn’t for over 30 years. My eldest, when he was six, decided that he wanted to use my married surname and did so until he was nearly 18. Both presented a stat dec and birth certificate when using birth certificates as identification. No biggie. Which is why I am kicking myself because I got all caught up with this issue for Jeremy when the solution is probably just as simple.
Jeremy needs a bank account, to apply for a TFN and to apply for jobs. When he started looking he hit a roadblock with the identification issue, not sure what to use.
I am reluctant to support a permanent name change at this stage for Jeremy. I am sure there will be those that think that is wrong, and you have a right to your opinion. At 16, making a legal change like this which will require contact and support from Jeremy’s other parent may not be the best option for Jeremy. It may also not be the right decision overall as Jeremy has a long path ahead of him and this is a decision that should be one that supports a more overall life changing decision regarding gender, surgery etc. Jeremy by his own admission isn’t at that point.
Which is why I am kicking myself. There are already two close examples within our family of the use of alias’. Did you know that it is ok to use an alias as long as people know that it is an alias?
I have started the conversation with potential employers because anyone who employs Jeremy will also have to satisfy me that they will have some kind of policy in place regarding dealing with transgender employees. I need to know that Jeremy will be able to go to the toilet at work so to speak. Sadly, one of the nation’s largest employers of young people have failed, after seven working days, to answer a simple question regarding identification and employment policies. Looks like fried chicken may be featuring in our lives instead of burgers…..
Information gathering is something that we do well as a family. I am bracing for the tangle of people that I will have to speak to at the Australian Taxation Office but hope that all inquiries will be met with honest answers that cover Jeremy legally and yet, in a practical sense, respect who he is.